For the sixth time in a row (jeesh guys, maybe let someone else win for once), the American Homebrewers Association’s (AHA) members voted Russian River Brewing Co.’s Pliny the Elder as the “Best Commercial Beer in America” — for the sixth year running. The poll is conducted annually by Zymurgy magazine — the journal of the AHA.
This is the 12th year that AHA members voted for up to 20 of their favorite beers in an online poll. Members were able to choose any commercial beer available for purchase in the United States. As in recent years, flavorful IPAs and double IPAs continue to outshine the rest, and comprised eight of the top 10 beers.
The Top-Ranked Beers include:
- Russian River Pliny the Elder
- Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
- Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
- Bell’s Hopslam
- The Alchemist Heady Topper
- Lagunitas Sucks
- Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
- Stone Enjoy By IPA
- Founders Breakfast Stout
- Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
“We are blown away that Pliny has won the award six years in a row,” said Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo. “There are so many great beers out there. It is very humbling.”
More than 1,600 breweries were represented in this year’s poll, and the Top-Ranked Brewery is Russian River Brewing Co. (Santa Rosa, Calif.), which had five beers in the top 50. Bell’s Brewery Inc. (Kalamazoo, Mich.), took second, followed by Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, Calif.) in third.
“As brewers, AHA members know when they experience excellence in a craft beer. It is a very high honor for a brewery to be recognized by this group as having the best beer in America,” said Gary Glass, director of the AHA. “The consistency in the poll results indicates that the discerning palettes of these homebrewers recognize quality and are not easily influenced by the latest fads.”
Additionally, the Best Portfolio of Beers was awarded to New Belgium Brewing Co., which had 60 beers receive votes in the poll. The top contenders in the category include:
- New Belgium Brewing Co.
- Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams)
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
- Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
- Stone Brewing Co.
As was the case in 2012 and 2013, no beers produced by breweries outside of the U.S. made the top 50. Unibroue La Fin du Monde, hailing from Canada, took first place among Top Imports.